Vice chair of 9/11 commission to speak at WFU's fall convocation

By Maggie Barrett
September 9, 2004

Lee hamilton

Lee Hamilton, vice chair of the Sept. 11 commission, will deliver Wake Forest University's Fall Convocation address Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. in the university's Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Hamilton, a Democrat, represented Indiana for 34 years in the U.S. Congress. He is the director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. The center promotes President Woodrow Wilson's belief in the compatibility between scholarly thought and public policy.

At the convocation, Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. will honor two alumni with the Marcellus E. Waddill Excellence in Teaching Awards. The $20,000 awards are given annually to one primary school teacher and one secondary school teacher who graduated from Wake Forest.

The university will also present the Jon Reinhardt Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Donald O. Schoonmaker Faculty Award for Community Service to two faculty members.

During his tenure, Hamilton served on several congressional committees and became a leading voice on international affairs. Democracy and economic reform in the former Soviet Union, as well as peace and stability in the Middle East are two of the key international issues he promoted. Hamilton continues to be involved in international relations through his high-profile positions in the advisory council to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, otherwise known as the Sept. 11 commission.

The Sept. 11 commission recently disbanded upon completion of its duties as outlined by the statute that created it. However, Hamilton and the other nine members of the Sept. 11 commission now comprise a new organization called the 9/11 Public Discourse Project. They established the organization to achieve what they believe to be their original mandate as the Sept. 11 commission: to guard America from future terrorist attacks.

The 9/11 Public Discourse Project aims to use information in the Sept. 11 commission report to educate Americans about terrorism and engage them in a national conversation about the changes needed to make America safer. According to the organization's official Web site, Hamilton and his colleagues fear that if such efforts are not made, there will be no public demand for protective policy changes and America will remain vulnerable to future attacks.

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